WhatsApp is reportedly planning to introduce its much-awaited WhatsApp Pay service in India. The company is reported to launch its new payment service in the country by May end.
As per a report by Moneycontrol, WhatsApp will partner with three private banks for its payment service. The list includes ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank. The report further highlights that SBI Bank will not go live in the first phase. The report highlights that the SBI Bank and WhatsApp Pay are working closely through the integration testing phase, however, due to compliance issues with the regulator, the bank is not going live in the first phase.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) recently announced that it is mandatory for large digital platforms to offer UPI-based payment services with multiple banks to avoid any delay in transactions and to maintain a high success rate. Interestingly, Google Pay and Truecaller are among the major platforms that allow transactions via multiple banks at present. Furthermore, Google Pay already has Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and SBI Bank as its partners to enable UPI-based payments.
With this, WhatsApp Pay could finally make its Indian appearance. Facebook has faced numerous hurdles to introduce its payment solution in India. In 2018, WhatsApp collaborated with ICICI Bank to test its WhatsApp Pay feature with over 1 million users. However, the Indian government raised a couple of objections. The government has asked for RBI’s views on whether payment solutions controlled remotely violate rules or not. The government started questioning WhatsApp over data localisation policy.
With this, WhatsApp Pay will give a direct competition to the likes of Amazon Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay and more. This is primarily because WhatsApp currently has more than 400 million users in the country and if all of them are converted into WhatsApp Pay service, the company will establish its dominance in the UPI-based payment segment.